We live in an age where we must endure some sort of phone call or e-mail scam nearly every single day, sometimes more than once a day. Washington residents need to be aware of scams that could wind up adding charges on your phone bill. For some of these illegal phone scams, they don't even need you to Answer your phone. Sometimes they want you to call back. 

Beware of the “One Ring” phone scam. 

Frustrated angry man reading a text message on his smartphone blowing steam coming out of ears
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This one has been around for a while. The goal is actually to have you call them back. Here's how it works. Basically, your phone will ring and then just hang up. If you call back the number that you see called, they get you. You find out later that you have unwanted charges on your phone bill. You can actually wind up getting charged a fee just for connecting. Along with Large per minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the line. 

According to the FCC, One Ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the US, including three initial digits that resemble US area codes. 

“Savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes – for example, "232" goes to Sierra Leone, and "809" goes to the Dominican Republic.”

to make things a little easier. WTFM helped us put together a list of numbers that you should always avoid answering. 

Domestic Area Codes With Ties to One Ring Scam 

  • 216: Cleveland Ohio 
  • 469: Dallas, Texas 
  • 657: La Palma, California 
  • 332: New York City 
  • 347: New York City 
  • 646: New York City 
  • 218: Northern Minnesota 
  • 712: Western Iowa 

 International Area Codes With Ties to One Ring Scam 

  • 232: Sierra Leone 
  • 268: Antigua and Barbuda 
  • 284: British Virgin Islands 
  • 473: Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique 
  • 649: Turks and Caicos Islands 
  • 664: Montserrat 
  • 767: Commonwealth of Dominica 
  • 809, 829, 849: Dominican Republic 
  • 876: Jamaica 

The best thing to do is don’t answer unknown calls. If whatever they're calling about is important, they're going to leave a message, or they'll send you a text. 

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One way to avoid some Robo calls is to not answer your phone with hello. I try to always answer my phone with, “This is Dave,” that seems to help quite a bit.  

I still get at least one call a week from somebody asking me if I want to sell my house. Has that happened to you? 

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Gallery Credit: Jahna Michal

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